LONDON – Alitalia (AZ) announced yesterday the resumption of international flights from its second hub in Milan, as Italy gradually reopens its airports to foreign travelers and eliminates most of the restrictions imposed to contain the Coronavirus epidemic.

The carrier will fly from Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London.

Starting from July, AZ will also serve a dozen domestic destinations from MXP, expanding its offer from the Lombardy region.

Milan Linate airport, which before the health crisis was Alitalia’s second-biggest airport after Rome’s Fiumicino (FCO), will probably reopen on July 13, but the two opposing parties, SEA Group and AZ are discussing whether it is appropriate to reopen the airport or not.

Position from Entrepeneur Germán Efromovich

Bolivian-born entrepreneur Germán Efromovich, who had expressed his interest in investing in AZ before the health crisis, said yesterday he was still open to buying a stake in the Italian carrier.

Efromovich said during a hearing on the transport sector by Italy’s parliamentary committee, “I am ready to take a stake as big as the Italian government is prepared to offer… I don’t ask for the majority, but I want to have a say over the governance and the management of the company.”

However, Efromovich said that on the basis of his personal experience, “speaking of €3bn doesn’t make sense.”

The entrepreneur criticized Rome’s plan to inject €3bn (US$3.4bn) in the carrier, suggesting that the restructuring could be done with lower financial resources.

Nationalization of Alitalia

Alitalia was set to receive US$3.4bn (€3bn) in May, as the government was ready to take over the airline that had burned its cash reserves during the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to Italian Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli, Alitalia (AZ) reported a bank balance of US$262m (€232m) by the end of June 2020.

The nationalization of the Italian airline would come after 11 turbulent years of various management and failed restructuring attempts.